When starting a business or remaining competitive in a business, a burning question is often, ”How do I reach my customers?”
In order to address this you need to know who your customers are, what are their demographics? Are they mostly seniors, working family members, teenagers, single parents, homeowners, etc.
There are two aspects to reaching your customers or clients. One is directly marketing to them using newspaper, radio, TV, flyers, social media, bulletin boards, websites, etc. The other is indirectly through your associations with your community. This could include, Chambers of Commerce, Service Clubs, Church, volunteer organizations, business networking groups, sports, etc.
In direct marketing you need to know what the majority of your customers or clients might use. Seniors might be more into the traditional media such as newspapers, radio, and TV, while the younger generations may pay more attention to social media. If it is social media you need to know which one. Is it FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, or do they use Goggle to search websites. My suggestion is that you only pick one or two. Social media is a time sink and can suck up a lot of valuable business time as do blogs and websites. Websites need to be current unless you are just using it as an online brochure.
Marketing yourself and your business indirectly is a longer term strategy which educates the public as to who you are and what you do. Through this there may be opportunities to showcase your business through special events, sponsorships, volunteering, and trade fairs. Sponsorships and volunteering can demonstrate your values to the community. Having advertising on your vehicle and wearing clothing that identifies your business plus always carrying business cards helps to ‘Brand’ you as well.
To be successful it is extremely important that you know who your target market is and what the majority of your customers or clients will see. Don’t try them all at once, do test runs and ask your customers where they saw your advertising. If it isn’t working, scrap it!
“Word of Mouth” used to be the best advertising for your business and it still is except that now, in today’s world of technology, it is likely, “Word of Mouse”.